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Seeds of the Kingdom

Jochebed, Moses’ mother

by Richard Hemery

8 July 2010

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By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter.
Hebrews 11:24, NIV

This remarkable woman is an encouragement to every parent, when you really unpack what she did – the obvious and the not so obvious.

Let's examine the obvious – the Egyptians had commanded death for Hebrew baby boys. When their son was born Moses’ parents saw he was special – so they hid him. Hebrews 11:23 tells us they did this by faith. As well as faith Jochebed had wisdom. When Pharaoh's daughter found baby Moses crying in the basket, and recognized he was a Hebrew baby, Miriam suggested she could fetch a Hebrew nurse for him. Whether this was all part of Jochebed’s plan is not stated, but God arranged for her to receive her baby back, and to be paid for it (Exodus 2: 1 – 10).

Jochebed's mothering skills were already apparent, as young Miriam had the confidence to address a princess.

Now comes Jochebed's real achievement, which is not so obvious. She had Moses for an unspecified number of years before he was returned to the princess.

Yet, although he was educated ‘in all the wisdom of the Egyptians’ (Acts 7:22), had all the material benefits of Pharaoh's court, spoke Egyptian, dressed Egyptian, was named by the princess, and even though he was totally immersed in that ungodly culture for over 30 years, when we next see him he’s seeking out ‘his own people’ - the Israelites. This is Jochebed's achievement. In the few short years she had Moses she instilled in him such a godly sense of his identity that nothing he experienced later could erase it. She passed on her own faith to him, so that ‘by faith...he refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter’ (Hebrews 11:24). For those reading this whose children are still ‘Egyptian’, notice that it took Moses 40 years to get his act together, but he returned to the fold – to rescue his people.

Prayer: Lord, may we who have children imitate the faith and godly parenting skill of Jochebed, so that our children may remain true to faith in You, however the world may seek to influence them. Amen.

Richard Hemery was born in Surrey, United Kingdom and studied archaeology and ancient history at University. He has been a Christian for 20 years and has been part of the Ellel Ministries team at Pierrepont since 2001 working as the bookshop manager.

 

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